As reported by Newsweek in August 2019, New York State recently lifted the statute of limitations on child sex abuse claims.
The Child Victims Act (CVA) extends the statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse in criminal and civil cases in New York. In civil cases, the CVA extends the period of time during which a survivor of child sexual abuse can file a claim for money damages. The CVA also allows claims to be filed against institutions that may have been involved in the abuse.
Before, survivors of child sexual abuse had from one to five years to bring a civil lawsuit against their abusers. That time period started after the victim turned eighteen years old. For a long time, it has been recognized that it is very difficult for survivors of child sexual abuse to come forward or even come to terms with the trauma until many years later. As a result, many survivors could not pursue a claim for damages because the time period expired by the time they were emotionally ready to bring a claim for money damages.
Now, the CVA helps survivors by extending the statute of limitations for civil claims so that survivors can file a claim until they are 55 years old.
There is another very important part of the CVA which applies to civil cases. The CVA allows survivors of child sexual abuse – who were unable to file a lawsuit under the old law – to have a one-year “look back” period during which they can file a civil claim. This means that a civil case which had already expired under the old statute of limitations can now be filed within the next year. This is a very important right which provides survivors who would not have been able to file a claim previously to be able to file a claim for money damages now.
The experienced litigation attorneys at Velella & Basso are ready to file a claim on your behalf and get you the justice you deserve. Call us today at (718) 931-1220 or schedule a free consultation online.
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